An Oregon couple claim their baby was left with horror injuries at the hands of their babysitter – including a bruise shaped like a hand print – but the authorities are not pursuing the case.
Joshua Marbury and Alicia Quinney claim they left their one-year-old son Jacob with the babysitter to go on a date night in March.
The couple, from Sherwood, say they returned home to find their son screaming and the babysitter fast asleep.
They say Jacob was covered in bruises the next morning and they reported the incident to police. However, two months later with no criminal charges being filed, they claim the authorities have let them down.
Frustrated, Marbury took to Facebook on Friday to vent that he believes a previous court ruling is stopping his son’s alleged abuser, who he did not name, from being charged – and posted pictures of Jacob in the bath with extensive bruising on his face.
Marbury was referring to a 2012 ruling in the Oregon Court of Appeals which prosecutors say make it harder to file charges in cases of abuse where the victims can’t speak, according to OregonLive.
In order to convict a child abuser of felony assault or criminal mistreatment, according to the website, prosecutors have to prove the victim suffered a ‘physical injury’ and suffered ‘substantial pain’.
This is difficult to prove if victims are unable to explain their suffering, according to an an earlier article on the ruling.
Prosecutors have said that children under five are often unable to articulate ‘substantial pain’ and this is also true of older children with developmental issues or those afraid to speak out against their abusers, KATU2 reported.
The ruling means that adults are able to get away with hurting children – as long as the injuries are not too bad as the ruling says bruises, welts and shallow cuts are not enough to prosecute.
The DA did not return MailOnline’s request for comment on the issue, and therefore couldn’t confirm whether the ruling impacted this case.
‘Something needs to be done. NOBODY can just hit a child and more to just get away with it because the child can’t verbally tell you.’
His post quickly went viral and has since attracted more than 150,000 shares, Marbury said multiple doctors told them that the bruising on Jacob showed a hand print.
He also added that a detective informed then that the injuries could have killed Jacob.
Jacob’s mother said that when she came home that night more than two months ago and saw Jacob’s black eye, she assumed he had somehow drawn on his face.
‘I thought maybe marker got on his face or something. When he turned over, his whole right side of his face — black and blue,’ she told OregonLive.
But then she also found marks on his ear, arm and back.
And although his bruises have now healed, she says the incident has changed her son – and left her terrified of leaving him alone with anyone.
‘He’s always been a mama’s boy, very much but since this happened he’s been a mama’s boy times 100,’ she said.
‘This isn’t something we can move on from.’
She wants the law to change, she added.
Washington County Deputy District Attorney Dustin Staten told Oregon Live he had not seen the pictures of Jacob posted on Facebook by his father, although pictures were taken in Jacob’s case.
‘Seeing those photos has caused me to want to take a different path,’ Staten told the website on Saturday.
‘There’s additional people I need to consult with based on those photos I’ve seen today.’
Source: Daily Mail